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Disney's Magic Bands Also Serve as Hotel Keys (Could Other Hotels Do This Too?)

January 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM | by | Comment (1)

Over the summer, it came out that Disney World would be testing some new technology called Magic Bands. The electronic bracelets would essentially serve as park tickets, so you won't have to scramble in your purse, wallet or pocket for your tickets.

But the bands do a lot more than letting you into the park. If you're staying at one of the Disney Resorts you can use these bands as your hotel room key. Here's how one of the reviewers on the forum MouseChat described the process:

It is your room key. So you tap and open the door. You have to touch the mickey icon on your door precisely. So Mickey to Mickey to get the door to unlock. Same thing to get to a concierge floor with the elevator, just touch the Mickey on the elevator and the Concierge level floor button will light up. The only thing is, it can be tricky getting the band to line up exactly and we found ourselves contorting our wrists to get the door to open or the elevator to light up.

Ok, so it's not quite perfect but it still sounds awesome. And we'd never have to worry about losing our room key, only our Magic Band, which seems unlikely. (But never say never.) You can also use the band to make purchases at the park and at the resort.

The bands are still working out some kinks (they will be ready for the general public in a few months) but we wonder if this technology might get picked up by other hotel brands? We can see it working best for hotel loyalty program members, perhaps by giving the elite levels or frequent guests their own band to keep. It could also work at bigger resort/convention center places and all-inclusive resorts. At the latter, you're already wearing cheesy bands there anyways, might as well wear a useful, high-tech one.

[Photo: Disney]

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Tacky

a key card i can put in my pocket, this is a large branded strap on my arm. Would likely make me look and feel stupid wearing it.
Might make sense for large resorts with many add on amenities (for purchasing, etc), but for any standard 2-3 star, what are the actual uses that it would be helpful for besides opening your room?

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